19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
A Walk in the Cedar Wood Forest

A simple portrait done of my Geisha friend when we went on a date together. On this occasion, we picked a walk in the cedar wood forest. We practice the Japanese art of Shinrin-yoku (森林浴). Shinrin-Yoku, translated into English as ‘forest bathing', means taking in the forest atmosphere during a leisurely walk. It is a therapy that was developed in Japan during the 1980s, becoming a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. In many cultures, Cedar is especially associated with prayer, healing, dreams, and protection against disease. The cedar tree has been revered for its spiritual significance for thousands of years. Its wood was used for the doors of sacred temples and burned in cleansing ceremonies for purification. The Japanese cedar can be seen at many shrines. These trees grow straight toward the sky, so it’s considered to be the closest associated tree with Japanese Gods. My Geisha friends are highly skilled entertainers and do everything with style and beauty. It has been a most delightful and relaxing afternoon, and of course we have quite a few very nice souvenir photos.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 12.2019
Date Uploaded: 04.2021
Photo Location: Kyoto, Japan
Copyright: © Robin Yong